Thursday, December 27, 2007

top weather story of 2007 was about climate change

This from CBC News

'Shocking' Arctic ice melt year's top weather story: Environment Canada

The top weather story of 2007 was about climate change, Environment Canada said Thursday in releasing its annual list of most important, widespread and newsworthy events.

The tornado touches down near Elie, Man., late on June 22. It was the first Canadian tornado ranked F5, the most severe on an international scale.The tornado touches down near Elie, Man., late on June 22. It was the first Canadian tornado ranked F5, the most severe on an international scale.
(Wayne Hanna/Canadian Press)

"At the top of the world, the dramatic disappearance of Arctic sea ice … was so shocking that it quickly became our No. 1 weather story," the agency said in a news release.

Although the disappearance of the sea ice is not strictly a weather story, "it's one of the major climate controls" that has been linked to extreme weather, Environment Canada senior climatologist David Phillips told CBC News.

Other stories that made the Top 10 include the first Canadian F5 (most severe) tornado, which hit Elie, Man., on June 22, the shrinking Great Lakes and early summer flooding in British Columbia.

The melting of Arctic sea ice was Environment Canada's top 2007 weather story. The melting of Arctic sea ice was Environment Canada's top 2007 weather story.

The B.C. floods could have been a lot worse, the release says. The Fraser Valley was spared when a storm that might have pushed the river over its banks missed the area, saving an estimated $6 billion in potential damage and losses, Environment Canada said.

B.C. also figured in the early December storms (No. 3 on the list) that hit the country from sea to sea. Up to 50 centimetres of snow fell on parts of Vancouver Island, followed by heavy rain. On the Prairies, temperatures plunged to –40 C (with wind chill). Ontario and Quebec got a great dump of snow, and then as the storm moved east, it was Atlantic Canada's turn.

"For a time at the beginning of December, a white Christmas mantle covered Canada from coast to coast to coast," Environment Canada said.

The agency's Top 10 weather stories are:

  • Vanishing Arctic ice.
  • B.C.'s flood threat.
  • Pre-winter mayhem across Canada.
  • Prairie tropical summer.
  • Dry summer in southern Ontario.
  • Post-tropical storm Noel hits Atlantic Canada.
  • Shrinking Great Lakes.
  • Delayed and low-snow winter in Eastern Canada.
  • Record Prairie hailstorms.
  • Canada's first F5 tornado.

Environment Canada ranks the events on factors that include the impact, the size of the affected area, economic effects and how long the story stayed on top of the news.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

James Howard Kunstler; Making Other Arrangements

Here's this article I found in Orion Magazine with Howard Kunstler telling it like it really is. I recommend you read the entire piece.

"We have to do better. We have to start right away making those other arrangements. We have to begin the transition to some mode of living that will allow us to carry on the project of civilization—and I would argue against the notion advanced by Daniel Quinn and others that civilization itself is our enemy and should not be continued. The agenda for facing our problems squarely can, in fact, be described with some precision. We have to make other arrangements for the basic activities of everyday life." James Howard Kunstler

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Social Justice and the Environment

Yesterday, December 8th, Crystle Numan of True City's eco-team gave a superb presentation called "Justice; Shalom with God, People and the World," at Melrose United Buffet Breakfast
(and what a tasty breakfast the men in the kitchen cooked up!)

A pity there were so few of us in attendance; I suppose everyone was out at the World Climate Day of Action rally in Toronto. Or perhaps they were at home writing angry letters to Harper. Maybe they had parked their vehicles and were negotiating the HSR bus system. No? Don't tell me. They were shopping at the Makers Market, that's it!

Anyway, Crystle described how the choices we make about how we live, what we buy, where we invest include a justice component. She posed the question "what are these implications?"

Justice is indeed tied up in the health of the environment. Where there is no justice the land, the people and the animals suffer.

Crystle got the brains thinking about consumption and the distance between what we consume and where it's made and by whom and under what conditions.

She presented us with a case study; Gold. The nasty business of gold production and it's terrible effects on people and the environment.
I thought guiltily about my recently pierced nose and the white gold jewel on it. Never even occurred to me to enquire as to where the gold came from.

And what about techno waste? Do our computers and cell phones sent to China for recycling really get recycled in an ecologically sound way?
Crystle read scriptures from the bible and presented the talk in the context of a Christian's God love of justice; His call to people to be in right relationship with the other. Are we?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Girl Guides Rock!

What a great group of girls I had the privilege of talking with yesterday night! These girl guides all knew about global warming and climate change; they knew why it was happening and they also were able to tell me all the different ways they and their families are reducing green house gases and fighting pollution.

Some of the ways the girls mentioned included walking more, bringing cloth bags to the grocery store, composting and so on. They were reflective about what climate change is doing to species such as the polar bear (it was weird because when I asked the girl who was telling me how polar bears will drown as the ice melts I asked her how she felt about that and she drew a blank- at a lose of words. Able to recite the facts, the question of feeling seemed to throw her off).

I only had a half hour so we weren't able to all that I planned but we had fun, I gave out 24 energy saving kits or so for their families and they gave me 2 boxes of chocolate mint girl guide cookies! Yum. Now if only they could get rid of the trans fats in them.